As many of you are aware, 2019 is bringing us the Are You Afraid of the Dark? film, which has stoked much love for the original show.
But for many 90’s children, this programme shaped who they are. Me included.
It was The Twilight Zone for kids, using both horror and sci-fi in the twisted tales and presented in a format to which pre-teens can relate… the campfire.
And as well as the teller of the tales being children, the stories centred around them as well.
Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, here are 5 reasons why I love Are You Afraid of the Dark?
1 – The campfire group are fashionably cool, and diverse
It could’ve been so easy to make all the tellers geeks and nerds — a whole group of Joshs.
Arguably, Josh is the most annoying character, with his “I am not scared of anything” and “You need to follow the rules” attitude.
But you need one of those characters to keep control.
I’ve always thought of Are You Afraid of the Dark? in the same vein as The Breakfast Club; a group of people who don’t usually spend time together sharing a moment.
The Midnight Society, (collective name for the tellers), share more moments and walk away understanding something about themselves or the teller that they didn’t know before.
The comparison leads nicely into the next reason.
2 – The tales tackle issues that children have
Many of the tales deal with the darker side of puberty, and for many people, it’s not a happy experience.
The adult is pointless in helping the child’s predicament.
But what is astounding about the show, bearing in mind that it’s a kid’s show, is that sometimes the children fail.
Some evil cannot be defeated in the space of 30 minutes.
This was never more evident than in “The Tale of Dead Man’s Float”, where a child drowns in a swimming pool built over a cemetery.
Yet you feel braver for having survived the episode.
3 – It is genuinely terrifying
Pennywise may have opened the 90’s as the world’s most terrifying clown but it had to pass its crown to Zeebo from “The Tale of Laughing in The Dark”.
Zeebo is a haunted clown in a haunted house attraction, who has his nose stolen by a child.
It’s safe to say the child soon regrets that decision.
And “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” is not only scary but painfully sad.
‘Help me’ written backwards all over the house is frightening.
The ghost girl appearing through the mirror is an impactive moment.
We experience so many emotions discovering that the girl was deaf and trapped in the house for a long time, all alone.
4 – It validates my fear of dolls
My fear always has and always will be dolls.
There’s something wrong with the tiny version of humans that are dead behind the eyes.
My fear intensified with “The Tale of the Doll Maker” with the terrifying Doll Girl that will haunt your nightmares.
Thought to be missing, the girl turns out to have been absorbing the energy of a dollhouse, and turns into a porcelain doll.
5 – The art of storytelling, especially ghost stories, is eternal
As mentioned earlier, campfire tales are still relevant.
It’s an image that’s easy to conjure, second only to being told tales when tucked up in bed.
We all love to tell tales, and we all love the opportunity for one-upmanship and to be the one that narrates the scariest.
Therefore, the programme endures.
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